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Blindness Awareness Month

Patient using a low vision device at the Feinbloom CenterOctober is Blindness Awareness Month and according to the World Health Organization, there are 285 million people who are visually impaired worldwide, 39 million of whom are completely blind. Blindness is often presented as a completely incapacitating disability of total vision loss. In reality, many people suffering from vision loss live fulfilling, joyful lives and suffer degrees of vision loss, not total blindness.

Did you know:

  • Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
  • Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over. This figure is projected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020.
  • ​Diabetics are 25 times more likely to develop blindness or visual impairment than non-diabetics.
  • Most visually impaired people start losing their eyesight at 50-years-old with a gradual deterioration as people continue to age.
  • Eighty percent of all visual impairment is preventable so it pays to have annual eye exams. 

Visual impairment ranges from low to severe in impact. It is primarily an age-related condition that is not corrected by prescription glasses or medicine, contacts or surgery. If someone is legally blind, there may still be some limited vision in one of their eyes. If they are totally blind, they probably use braille, listen to audio communications for media and daily instructional information, or may need the services of a seeing-eye dog.

Virginia Scott working with a patient at TEISixty-five million people are afflicted by cataracts and in the U.S. alone, more than ten million people suffer from retinal diseases that deteriorates peripheral and night vision. One of the major causes of blindness is uncorrected refractive errors causing blurred vision, leaving people unable to clearly see images on the retina.

The Eye Institute (TEI) offers a variety of comprehensive eye care services to help patients maintain their visual health including eye exams, prescription glasses and contact lens fittings, low vision services, protective eyewear solutions, and vision therapy.

The William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center, located at The Eye Institute’s Oak Lane facility, provides low vision and rehabilitative services to patients with vision impairments in order to maximize their remaining eyesight. Services provided at the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center include, comprehensive low vision evaluations for adults and children, prescription and dispensing of low vision devices and adaptive equipment, rehabilitative training in the use of remaining vision, adaptive technology evaluations, and referrals to agencies that offer assistance in obtaining adaptive equipment and rehabilitative services.

To schedule an appointment at The Eye Institute or with a low vision specialist call 215.276.6111.